A groundbreaking phenomenon starts Dec. 18, LoveLocalMaryland.com goes live.
For the first time there is a program aimed at supporting small businesses and connecting those businesses and consumers with the support of a major media partner and statewide business organizations representing over 30,000 businesses. Both small businesses and consumers benefit.
With the LoveLocal Maryland program, small businesses, the biggest job creators in the American economy, get sales and marketing tools so that they can compete with big businesses while consumers learn about businesses in their community and help support the local economy and those job generators.
There is a two-part roll out. The first is a registration period, starting Dec. 18. Businesses can start registering themselves on the LoveLocalMaryland.com’s active directory. When this free directory goes live to consumers, it will include search engine features that allow consumers to find businesses through:
• Product category
• Zip code
• Type and kind of business
• Key words (Key words are words that describe the range of products and services that a business offers. In the customized profile set up when registering, a business should list its key words. Businesses can change those key words any time there is a change product or service offerings.)
Consumers can search by community and proximity to their location. This is a great feature for both consumers who are Maryland residents looking for a specific kind of business near them and for tourists who are constantly in search of businesses in an unfamiliar place.
LoveLocal Maryland was initiated by WBAL-TV and supported and endorsed by:
• Maryland Chamber of Commerce
• Restaurant Association of Maryland
• Maryland Retailers Association
• Maryland Hotel and Lodging Association
• Maryland Tourism Council
• Maryland Hispanic Chamber
• Maryland Bankers Association
• Greater Baltimore Committee
• Maryland Association of CPAs
These organizations are committed to the growth of small businesses, jobs and strengthening competitiveness. Their members represent over 30,000 businesses.
Committing its resources, WBAL-TV will be promoting the campaign through a series of public service announcements, which will appear several times a day around the following programming.
• Morning, noon, evening and eleven news
• Dr. Oz
• Regis & Kelly Live
• Martha Stewart
• Access Hollywood
• Days of Our Lives
Sales and Marketing Tools
In the second phase of the roll out, LoveLocalMaryland.com goes live to consumers. Plus, the small businesses get access to a full set of sales and marketing tools for businesses include:
• Web page
• Text messaging
• Email blast
• Customer management tools
• Enhanced search engine features
• Social networking
• Maps and directions
These sales and marketing tools will allow subscribers to:
• Save on printing costs,
• Act quickly to offer specials and sales when needed,
• Create direct communication with customers
• Attach menus, artwork, photographs and brochures to their own individual web page.
In this second phase, WBAL-TV will actively promote the Web site address to consumers.
When small businesses thrive
Business organizations, which have seen the tools, have described them as being a true economic stimulus program. All recognize that when small businesses thrive, the whole economy benefits-jobs are created, local charities get funded and the economy grows, all without increasing taxes or expanding deficits.
The directory listing with the search features is free.
Members of the Greater Baltimore Committee receive a 20 percent discount off the subscription for the full set of sales and marketing tools so it is only $78/year ($6.50/mo or 21 cents/day) for Maryland-based businesses.
Businesses can sign up, now, on the free directory at LoveLocalMaryland.com. If a business is not in the directory, consumers will not find it when they search for products and services and they will not share the benefits of the LoveLocal Maryland program.